Don’t look now, but the Whitehall boys tennis team has reeled off eight consecutive wins to start the season.
With those eight wins, they’ve now established their best start in the program’s history. For the last few years they’ve been having early success, winning six consecutive games last year and five the previous year. That demonstrates the incredible ascendancy of a program that had just three wins four years ago.
That rise is a testament of the talent of the players who’ve been helping to bring boys tennis toward the upper rung of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference. They currently sit in third place, trailing only Emmaus and Nazareth in the standings.
Head coach Guillermo Valera said that he’s eager to see how his team stacks up against the upper echelon teams. Some of their matches have featured a number of forfeits so it hasn’t given him a clear picture of where they stand, so Saturday’s match against Parkland will bring their progress into sharper focus.
Still, they’ve risen to every challenge, and that’s something that will serve them well.
“They are building confidence, and they’re picking up a good feeling on the court,” said Valera.
He said it’s a good group of guys who come ready to play every day.
Their latest win came against Allentown Central catholic on Tuesday, defeating the Vikings 4-3. Prior to that, they bested East Stroudsburg North, defeating the Timberwolves 6-1.
Against the T-Wolves, Jeremy Lim continued his torrid streak at No. 1 singles, defeating Alex Penunia 6-1, 6-2. He continued that dominance with a straight set win over ACC’s Johnson Zou, 7-5, 6-2. Jeremy Lim has now won all eight of his matches this spring. Additionally, he’s won all those in straight sets.
Valera said that Lim’s been consistent all season. He’s been solid from the backcourt, knocking down his opponents with his ball-striking ability from the baseline.
Lim is slated to play Parkland’s Alex Son on Saturday when the two schools meet. The pair played one another at districts last year in a three-set marathon that was won by Son. Lim said that Parkland’s depth makes them a tough match.
“Every player is capable of making winning shots from anywhere,” said Lim.
Lim said that the key to his match with Son is just grinding it out and being consistent.
Nick Rohn continued the Zephs strong singles play against ESN, defeating Reggie Gesicho 6-0, 6-0. Rohn was 7-0 this season until he suffered his first loss against ACC. In those seven wins before Tuesday, only one of his matches went three sets.
Rohn has the ability to be their most dynamic player. While he can be explosive, Valera said he’s also the biggest risk taker among the three singles players.
“When he’s in a zone, he can beat anyone,” said Valera.
Valera said that he just needs to find that balance.
At No. 3 singles, Nick Demjan blanked T-Wolf Elliot Cuello in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0. After defeating ACC’s Charlie Carbonetto, 6-2, 6-2, Demjan is now 8-0 as well, helping to establish their singles trio as one of the best 1-2-3 punches in the league.
Valera said that Demjan mirrors Jeremy Lim in his consistency, favoring the backcourt to wear down his opponents.
He said that all three are doing a good job and is looking forward to see how they do against elevated competition.
In their win against the T-Wolves, Demjan and Jeremy Lim teamed up for a pro set at No. 1 doubles, taking down the ESN duo of Penunia and Cuello, 8-4.
At No. 2 doubles, the tandem of Edward Harrich and Erik Poon lost to James Brands and Michael Guarino 4-6, 5-7.
Daniel Lim and Gabriel Fonseca Rodriguez partnering at No. 3 doubles defeated Dylan Desilva and Evan Scarnecchia 6-3, 6-0.
Finally, Josh Mallory and Stephen Swiezak bounced the duo of Jamil Singh and Sebastian Kantoroski at No. 4 doubles to complete the 6-1 win.